Aquaculture for all

Kedah Poised to be a Major Shrimp-Farming State

Crustaceans Economics +2 more

MALAYSIA - Kedah is poised to become a major shrimp aquaculture zone following the turnaround of the ailing Kerpan shrimp farm by operator, Blue Archipelago Bhd.

In an interview in The Star in Malaysia, chief executive officer Dr Shahridan Faiez said with the completion of the integration programme by early 2010, the Kerpan operation would begin to develop contract farming relationships with other shrimp smallholders in the state.

“This could potentially triple the shrimp output of the state and help to turn Kedah into a major shrimp aquaculture zone, especially in the Northern Corridor Economic Region,” he told The Star.

Snap-shot of shrimp farming in Malaysia
(The Star)

Shrimp aquaculture is a lucrative business that can help Kedah create high income for it farmers.

“With a 30-year lease on the Kerpan farm, Blue Archipelago has the necessary long-term commitment and capacity to support the government policy for transforming the industry into a high-value, high-performing sector,” Dr Shahridan said.

The Kerpan transformation is the flagship project for the company’s start-up strategy.

"Blue Archipelago, which had taken over the Kerpan farm 11 months ago, is expecting a harvest of about 500 tonnes this year, which will translate into revenue of about RM7.5 million," he said.

The Kerpan farm, which is now known as the Ayer Hitam farm, has a production capacity of 1,500 tonnes per annum and 226 grow-out ponds. Plans are also in the pipeline to develop a processing plant to be operational by May 2009.

Dr Shahridan said the company planned to invest about RM50 million to repair and upgrade the farm and transform it into a fully integrated aquaculture operation.

Its other projects include the development of the model integrated shrimp aquaculture park (i-Sharp) in Terengganu and the establishment of a shrimp aquaculture programme for innovation and growth in partnership with various national and international partners.

"Shrimp aquaculture is a sunrise industry. However, when you look at the industry in Malaysia, it is one that is lagging. That is when we decided we needed to turn around the state of the industry," he said.

The report in The Star continues that the company's second start-up strategy will entail developing an i-Sharp.

It plans to spend about RM154 million to conduct investments in hatchery, feed mill and processing plant to create a fully integrated operation and also introduce knowledge-intensive farming techniques for aqua small and medium-scale enterprises.

It will also focus on producing a premium product for the export market and develop a brand name.

The first i-Sharp in Terengganu, spanning about 1,000 hectares, will have 750 ponds with an estimated production capacity of 5,000 tonnes per annum. “For i-Sharp, for each of the farm of about 1,000 hectares, we expect an annual revenue of RM215 million," he said.

Dr Shahridan said the third start-up strategy for the company was to invest in research and development.

"In the long run, our competitiveness would hinge on the ability to innovate and develop new products.

"Aquaculture today is a knowledge-intensive business because of the high food safety standards demanded by the premium export markets. Companies with integrated supply chains are more competitive in the global marketplace as they are able to offer full traceability of their products, thus ensuring food safety and quality," he told The Star.

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